Improvements to Marholm Brook and Cuckoos Hollow
Wildlife, water and communities are benefiting from improvements to Marholm Brook and Cuckoo's Hollow
The Werrington and Marholm Brook Improvements programme is delivering improvements to water quality and local habitats in Peterborough.
This five-year partnership, led by the city council and the Environment Agency with support from Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) is in its second year and the area of work includes Marholm Brook, Werrington Brook and Cuckoo's Hollow. Starting with a 417-metre stretch of Marholm Brook, near Lincoln Road, the programme includes work to replicate the way a natural stream flows by putting new natural river features back into the brooks to improve the way they function. At the moment, during dry periods, the area experiences very low flows and a lack of important dissolved oxygen, needed for healthy habitats and wildlife.
The work includes increasing the number of meanders, re-shaping banks, creating a small wetland, and introducing several natural river features like riffles, berms and pools. These will all work together to create a natural processes that, in turn, will help clean the water, create new and better wildlife habitats, keep the stream healthy and provide a more pleasant space for all to enjoy. This will also make the river more resilient to changing weather and environmental conditions, with the works having been carefully designed to have no negative impacts on flood risk.
Rob Price, Catchment Coordinator at the Environment Agency, said:
“The Werrington Brook Improvements programme will create an even better environment for people and wildlife, bringing additional social, well-being and economic benefits to the area.
“Healthy rivers and habitats encourage a cleaner environment which results in a more diverse and healthier wildlife, making green spaces even more attractive for all to enjoy. In turn, people make the most of them, like taking more walks, exploring and enjoying their surroundings which helps improve health and well-being.”
The works follow a public consultation held last winter and form part of a wider programme to deal with pollution and encourage communities and businesses to engage closer with the water environment. Further improvements are planned for eight more stretches of water between Marholm village and Cuckoo’s Hollow Lake.
This work will help improve and keep the national water quality environment standards of the streams in this area. The success of the improvements will be closely monitored and used to help plan further developments in Peterborough and elsewhere in the country.
The programme is part funded by Environment Agency and Peterborough City Council who aim to attract other partners to help deliver the work.
For more information about the Werrington Brook Improvements programme see www.pect.org.uk/werringtonbrook
Meanwhile, the large scale maintenance at Cuckoo's Hollow in Werrington is nearing completion, to the benefit of wildlife, local residents and the wider city.
The £86,000 project, led by Peterborough City Council, has focused on cutting back reed growth and reducing silt levels, to improve water flow, reduce flood risk and lead to greater water quality and increased biodiversity. The works will also result in enhanced views across the area. Popular with wildlife and local walkers, Cuckoo's Hollow is an area of green space in Werrington with a picturesque lake that is fed by Werrington Brook.
Councillor Nigel North, cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said:
"Peterborough has many hidden gems like Cuckoo's Hollow, which help make the city such a great place to live. It's essential that we look after our natural environment, both for the wildlife that live there and for local residents to enjoy.
"The project has gone well and we have worked closely with the Environment Agency and the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust to minimise any impact to wildlife and to improve the area by creating a haven to encourage wildlife to flourish in the future.
"In the long-term, the Werrington Brook Improvement programme (WBI) will enable the lake to become more self-sustaining. There will be further work to the lake in the next three years, but public feedback supported our plans for urgent removal of reed growth."
A large amount of silt has been removed from the lake and is now drying on a section of the bank. Once drained, the silt will be landscaped and seeded with grass and wildflowers to improve biodiversity in the area. More information on the work can be seen at http://www.peterborough-suds.org/cuckoos-hollow/.
The flow of water into Cuckoo's Hollow and sediment management will be further improved by the five year Werrington Brook Improvements programme.